April 24, 2014
Freedom from Addiction
33 Victoria Street
Aurora, ON L4G1R1
The Honourable Deb Matthews, MPP
Minister of Health and Long Term Care
Queen’s Park – MOHLTC
Toronto, ON M7A 1Z1
RE: Central Local Health Integration Network – Consideration as a LHIN Health Service Provider and publicly-funded community partner
Dear Minister Matthews:
We are writing in care of Freedom from Addiction in York Region, one of Ontario’s premier and innovative private drug and alcohol addiction recovery and residential treatment centres, and a Voice for Drug and Alcohol Addiction related advocacy.
One of the only methadone detox centres in Canada, with 20 in-patient beds and 7 detox beds, Freedom’s beautiful 15,000 square foot Aurora home and premises possesses a vast base which captures those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction in the Province of Ontario and Greater Toronto Area.
Drugs and alcohol addiction is an agent in lost productivity for various sectors and their businesses, and the underlying unseen reasons of this disease, which include trauma and mental illness, need to be better understood and promoted through those working in recovery. In Ontario the annual cost of alcohol-related health care, law enforcement, corrections, lost productivity, and other problems is estimated to be $5.3 billion.
After consultation within Toronto and the GTA with stakeholders, families, clients, and community partners,, Freedom from Addiction wishes to briefly address some topics and request a meeting with you, your offices, and respective units and divisions within the Ontario Public Service at the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
For example, as a privately run residential treatment centre, we offer the very best on site presently privately-funded residential treatment to the GTA community, regardless of age, gender, and profession.
We are writing to discuss applying for LHIN- status in order to better serve all those suffering from drug and alcohol addictions. We wish to be considered as a Central LHIN health service provider and publicly-funded partner – as the LHIN does not have a current actual application or RFP application procedure.
We want to provide helpful treatment to those whose families or employers cannot bare significant wait times elsewhere and cannot financially afford full programs costs. As a LHIN health service provider, our goal would be to help people suffering from addiction by setting aside a percentage of beds to be partially covered under a LHIN and/or OHIP-funded coverage system.
In addition, Freedom, which now houses an in-house public policy department, wishes to request further increased funding for in-house and external awareness programs and research in drugs and addiction – for employers, youth, adults, families and individuals. There is Stigma involved with this disease, and there needs to be appropriately increased funding and programming for research to support it, and spread awareness across the province.
Freedom from Addiction looks forward to speaking with you, your office, and specific divisions and units within the OPS at MOHLTC about our plight to move forward together on helping us help those in need. We can be reached at 905-503-3733 through Frank Belluardo in our public policy and PR department.
Mandeep Sandhu Frank Belluardo Franco Lupo
Managing Director Manager, Public Policy Executive Director
CC. The Friends of Freedom community
Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP & Parliamentary Assistant, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term
Frank Klees, MPP Newmarket Aurora
France Gelinas, NDP Critic for Health and Long Term Care
Christine Elliott, PC Critic for Health and Long Term Care
John Langs, Chairman of the Board, Central LHIN